Pope delivers farewell address to crowd of 200,000

Joyce Lupiani

Pope delivers farewell address to crowd of 200,000

CREATED Feb. 27, 2013

(KTNV) -- Pope Benedict XVI delivered his farewell address earlier today in Rome.

A crowd of about 200,000 gathered to hear the pope speak. He officially steps down at noon on Thursday.

Pope Benedict thanked those who supported him during his emotional farewell address. He also described the difficulty of his eight-year papacy talking about his health issues and the abuse scandals within the church.

On Thursday, he will say his formal good-bye to the cardinals and leave on a helicopter to begin his "quiet life of prayer and reflection."

The college of cardinals will then begin their work to elect a new pope. The selection is expected to happen within the next few weeks before Easter.

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